CALAUAG, Quezon—As I was saying, tennis was my game before golf. And so, Saturday night, I slept late. For old time’s sakes, for a former love: tennis.

I just had to watch pretender Lucie Safarova battle Serena Williams.

Well, Safarova ousted Maria Sharapova, Mike Limpag’s idol. Me, too. Angry me.

All right, Safarova has no solid bragging rights yet, except beating some of the game’s current greats, on her way to the French Open Finals last weekend.

Safarova wasn’t even ranked among the Top 10 in the world.

And who was she pitted against in her first ever Finals appearance in a major?

Serena, she with the awesome power shots, the world No. 1, who was “just” the winner of 19 majors before she smashed her first serve against Safarova Saturday in Paris’ famed Roland Garros stadium.

Safarova, from the Czech Republic, appeared set for easy dismissal when Serena, the American whose French is as flawless as her backhand winners, captured a 6-3 first-set win in minutes.

After Serena had posted a 4-1 margin in the second set, scores from the sellout crowd had seriously thought of leaving.

But, hell, what do you know?

Safarova, she with the rare green eyes, fought back like a wounded snake to race to a 5-4 lead before eventually stealing a 7-6 thriller in the tiebreaker.

But just as fast as Safarova, 28, raced to a 2-0 lead in the deciding third set, Serena, 33, exhibiting incredible resurgence while playing a bit ill, sprung back to life and won six games in a row in one of the most stunning comebacks in recent memory.

Serena’s 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 triumph gave her a total of 20 majors, just short of two of Stefi Graf’s haul of 22 and four of Margaret Court’s 24.

Now, you might be wondering where I am right now?

I am in this coastal town on the southernmost tip of Quezon province, the birthplace of writer-journalist/UP Diliman professor Sol Juvida. Because she is my wife, I only take orders from her. And one such order she had just fired was, “Pack your bags quick.”


“You need a vacation,” she said.



End of Q & A.

If love means nothing in tennis, not to Sol.

This town happens to have the best crabs in the world.

More wine, please, dahlin’?